people power

Having a father as a manager is not very common in racing. "It has always been really good for me. I guess some people could argue that he's not the best person to negotiate deals for me because he is my Dad and he has an idea of what he thinks I'm worth and that may not be the real market value. He's family he's not just Kevin's agent. If someone might say in a meeting, well he's done this in the past or that and the sponsor doesn't particularly like him then he might take it a bit more personal than someone who's just a manager who could say, well I don't care what you think or what he's done, you want him to wear your stuff or ride this bike then it will cost you this much. A lot of people have approached me saying that they would like to manage me and maybe a relation isn't the best person to maintain a purely business approach to it but at the same time I don't have to worry about him not doing the best thing he can for me and I can trust him totally not to do anything against my best interests."

"Nine times out of ten he'll make a decision on his own just because he and I have talked about it and he knows how I feel and what I want. If I had a manager I feel like I'd have to be watching every thing that he did making sure that he wasn't taking some for you and some for him."

"So it has worked out real good and also them travelling to all the Grand Prix with me. In Europe he takes care of the motorhome, he really fills a spot that would be virtually impossible to hire somebody for that I trust as much as my Dad. Not only as a manager but someone who takes care of the motorhome, he drives it from race to race and you know that it is going to be there perfectly set up, everything is ready and it is a real load off my mind just knowing I can fly in and it will be set. He does a great job."

"

To many it must seem a strange Situation for a father and son to be in. For most sportsmen the manager is an employee but Kevin's sees it differently. "He and I have never really looked at it that way. I think that I'm still his son whether I'm an employer or not. I still treat him with the same respect as I did when he was my Dad and my employer. I don't think things have really changed they are still my parents. I don't think I've ever said to them, 'just shut up, do what I tell you to do because I'm the one who pays the bills'. I think if I ever do say that I'd get hit..., simple as that."

"I think that it would make the racing that much more difficult if they were not there. I really enjoy the time that I get to spend with my family and if I was racing on my own and someone was driving my motorhome and not my parents I think I'd feel the time away from home much more than I do, that goes for Staci as well, they come over sometimes and they are all important to me."

 

"My Mom and Dad also do a good job of keeping in touch with everybody else in the family, grandparents and so on. I know a lot of what goes on so I don't feel that I am missing so much, that's important to me, I do think of myself as a family person. We get on well, I guess we'd have to because we spend the most part of six months living together in a forty foot motorhome."

"We know each other so well and we accept that we all have our quirks or whatever and need some understanding. My parents are still my parents and I still respect them, not just because they are family but because of everything that they've ever done. At the same time I think they look at me and they say, 'Look Kevin's racing, doing well, we've got to try and do what we can do to make it that much easier for him."

"Sometimes my Mom gets after me Kevin James... When she uses my middle name that's when everyone knows there's trouble in the air,.. 'see you later Kevin' and they evacuate the motorhome... But no that's not fair, she looks after us, puts up with a lot and works real hard on a lot of things, organising stuff, travel and the fan club with Staci and D'Ette. She keeps track of everything and always knows where everybody is and what's going on."

"I think that just the fact that Mom and Dad have been involved in the motorcycle business for so long really helps. Through the shop in Houston, Dad's dealt with the Japanese and I felt like he has a good understanding of it. He and I in the first couple of contracts that we negotiated, I actually would go in and sit down with him. Very seldom do I do that now because he looks at them, says, 'Kevin wants this, here is our proposal,' they might act all shocked, 'we can't do that or pay that,' He just says well that is what Kevin has sent me in here with and if you want any changes then I'll have to get back to him and I'll doubt he will accept any different."

"Out the door he goes and meanwhile they sit there discussing it and nine times out of ten before he gets home and has even spoken to me there is a fax waiting for him to say that our proposal is fine. He's got a real good way of dealing with things, he doesn't argue he just leaves our proposal in front of them. If they try and contact me direct I just lay it back to Dad. Lots of people will try and do that, they'll try and talk to the person negotiating the contract, in my case my Dad, then they'll try and corner the rider himself and bend his ear. I don't like that and I just stand my ground and say that I've talked it over with my Dad and that's the deal."

"I'm glad he's there to take care of the business side because it is very very time consuming, negotiations and getting the contracts all finalised. He spends a lot of 'time on the phone and the fax, back and forwards to Japan. Its a real blessing that I don't have to mess with it. If he's got a question he calls and we sort it out real quick. At the same time its not just someone on the end of the phone trying to make fifteen to twenty five percent. He doesn't just think about the money, he's looking after my whole deal."

 

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